Quiet Title Primer

What happens when there is a civil action filed with the intent to settle title disputes to a property? This will be resolved in the civil court system through a cause of action called “quiet title”. Quiet title occurs in sitautions when there is a disagreement as to who is the legal title owner of real property, or when there were liens on property that the owner believes shouldn’t be there. Sometimes this happens because there are liens that were recorded and never removed, other times it happens when someone was supposed to be placed on title, but they never were.

There are a few important considerations to take note of when you are filing an action for quiet title.

  1. Quiet title actions are equitable in nature. When you are involved in a lawsuit, most of the remedies available to you are either “legal remedies” or “equitable remedies”. A legal remedy is when you are looking to recover money as your damages. An equitable remedy is when money will be insufficient, and you need the judge to make a decision taking fairness for both parties into account.
  2. The court (judge) is the fact finder. In most civil cases, you have the option of either requesting a jury or a bench trial on factual issues. A bench trial just means that the judge will be the paryt making the decision. In equitable actions, the judge is the only party that will be will consider the evidence and enter a judgment. In real estate dispute where there are multiple causes of action that fall into both legal and equitable requests, the judge will still be the fact finder on the equitable requests.
  3. There is no statute of limitations. Quiet title actions do not have a specific statute of limitations, this claim is based on the underlying issues and your request for relief.

There are many considerations to note when filing a quiet title action, just one of many requests for relief that are available to someone who is looking to correct a wrong related to their real property. Schedule a call with Elena Rivkin for a case evaluation. CTA.

Quiet Title – When You’re Not Listed on the Deed

A situation that occurs far more often than you may think is when someone buys real property but is not on the title. A few of the common situations where this might happen are:

-Two people buy property together but only person foes on title because of their bad credit.

-There is a joint venture between someone with financial capital and someone with real estate construction skills to buy and flip a property.

-A family member goes on title for another family member who has bad credit.

-Unmarried couples take title to a property in just one of their names, even though the other boyfriend/girlfriend pays for the downpayment and related expenses, and they have an oral agreement that they bought the property together.

In all of these situations, the people involved take these steps because they trust each other and don’t necessarily think they need to properly document their rights and interests in the property; unfortunately, that doesn’t always turn out well for the people involved. Break-ups, disagreements, outside influences all impact what happens downt he line, especially with real property that may be a long-term ownership.

Although the owner of legal title is presumed to be the owner of title, the legal presumption may be rebutted with clear and convincing evidence. This may be shown with a variety of items: a writing, such as emails, texts, or documents, financial evidence, including documentation elated to the down payment and other big portions of items, or witnesses who can explain what happened.

If there is a dispute regarding title to your property, and you’re not on the Grant Deed, it will be an uphill battle to resolve these issues the longer you wait. If you’d like to discuss your situation schedule a call with Elena Rivkin for a case evaluation.

If there is a dispute regarding title to your property, and you’re not on the Grant Deed, it will be an uphill battle to resolve these issues the longer you wait. If you’d like to discuss your situation schedule a call with Elena Rivkin for a case evaluation.